The airline industry began using teletypewriter technology in the early 1920s using radio stations located at 10 airfields in the United States.
In 1949, the Société Internationale de Télécommunication Aeronautique (SITA) was formed as a cooperative by 11 airlines: Air France, KLM, Sabena, Swissair, TWA, British European Airways, British Overseas Airways Corporation,British South American Airways, Swedish A. G. Aerotransport, Danish Det Danske Luftfartselskab A/S, and Norwegian Det Norske Luftfartselskap. Their aim was to enable airlines to be able to use the existing communications facilities in the most efficient manner.
Morse code was the general means of relaying information between air communications stations prior to World War II. Generally, it was only necessary to relay a message between one or two stations. After World War II, there was an increase in the number of commercial aircraft operating, and these aircraft were capable of flying greater distances than in the past. As a result, the Aeronautical Fixed Telecommunications Network (AFTN) was implemented worldwide as a means of relaying the air traffic communications, sometimes through the use of radioteletype
Today, the airline industry continues to use teletypewriter messages over ARINC, SITA or AFTN networks as a medium for communicating via messages. Most teletypewriter messages are machine-generated by automatic processes. IATA standardised teletype message formats throughout the airline industry.